Joe has only one leg. Wherever he goes, he is constantly questioned about this, and he feels that this is defining who his peers think he is. He is Joe, a small boy who loves to play at being a pirate. Having one leg is normal for him. He is fun, adventurous and very agile. He does all the things all the other children do.
Despite this, everyone wants to know why he has only one leg. Joe has a wonderful set of retorts to this endless questioning, and his patience is sorely tested at times. This makes Joe sad as he simply wants to play, not explain why he is different.
Terrific characters with great facial expression. The pages where the children are constantly firing questions at him are really well laid and out and give us a sense of Joe’s impending irritation, resulting in a full-page spread of Joe looking sad. At this point, the children realise Joe is just like them, and joyful play resumes. They no longer need to know how and why. He is just Joe, their friend.
The use of bold colour adds to the moods encountered throughout the tale. The mass of yellow lions indicating Joe’s annoyance, the bold yellows of the children playing all adding to the feel of the tale.
What Happened To You? is a jolly, playful book celebrating children and their intrinsic differences.
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